Dedicated server hosting refers to a type of web hosting where an entire server’s resources are dedicated exclusively to a single client. This means that the client can enjoy unlimited bandwidth and storage space, a high network uptime and better reliability and scalability. In comparison, shared hosting refers to a system where multiple sites are hosted on a single server and they collectively pay for the resources of that server. Therefore, shared hosting is a far more economical option compared to dedicated server hosting but the latter provides greater reliability and better uptime. Dedicated server offers the following advantages:
- With dedicated hosting, you can enjoy unlimited resources because you do not have to share bandwidth or disk space with other sites. You do not have to worry about resources getting used up by co-users or your site slowing down as a result of over usage of resources by other co-inhabitants. This guarantees greater reliability and a very high server uptime that ensures that your site is up and running at all times. This is especially significant for the larger e-commerce websites which cannot afford to malfunction; the slightest slowing down of such sites can amount to huge losses for the business.
- Server congestion is never an issue when you choose dedicated server hosting. With shared hosting, sites are often found to slow down and unable to handle large volumes of traffic because there is too much congestion. Multiple sites are constantly vying for more bandwidth and storage space.
- Unlike shared hosting where the threats of cyber attacks and viruses are very high, dedicated server is far more secure. Dedicated server hosting providers typically offer stringent anti-virus and firewall protections. These can be suitably customized to suit business interests. Moreover, a dedicated server that is located within a data center can also benefit from the security measures which are undertaken by this facility to avoid unauthorized data access. These facilities generally have security guards, 24×7 surveillance cameras on-site, biometric authentication and mantraps for better security.
- Finally, a dedicated server will typically boast of excellent technical support; this is very important because most sites opting for dedicated hosting for the purpose of hosting mission-critical applications. You can find out about the details of technical support that you are entitled to from a web host by examining the SLAs or service level agreements.
Dedicated server hosting can be both managed and unmanaged. In unmanaged dedicated hosting, your IT staff is completely responsible for maintaining and monitoring the server. In short, the client company is responsible for all backups and this option works out cheaper for them. However, in fully managed dedicated hosting, the task of monitoring the server or carrying out backups etc is handled entirely by the web hosting service providers. With managed dedicated hosting, you can enjoy higher server speed, better server uptime, increased security and greater access to server.
To choose a quality dedicated hosting service provider, you can make use of the following factors:
- You should ensure that the provider offers superior quality hardware and not outdated parts that will slow down performance.
- You should find out in advance about the level of support you can expect to get from the host. You must investigate whether they offer 24×7 supports through live chats, phone calls and emails; whether their response times are quick, whether the support team interacts with the client or simply directs the client to a FAQ page etc.
- You must make it a point to review their SLAs before signing up with them. This will guarantee that in case your hardware malfunctions, they will replace the damaged or failing component.
- You should find out whether the provider offers both Linux and Windows operating systems. However, you may have to pay extra for a Windows based OS since it comes with a license fee.
- The provider should also offer a cPanel or WHM that will allow web developers to edit the site independently or migrate to another hosting provider easily. The cPanel or WMH are highly recommended because they are feature rich and help users create and manage accounts and emails easily.
- You should also ensure that your provider is willing to offer you additional software should you need it.
Finally, the hosting provider must help you with migration if it becomes necessary. It is always advisable to avoid a host that is not keen to assist its clients with migration.